Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kagoshima (鹿児島市; -shi) the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwest tip of the Kyushu island of Japan. It has been nicknamed the 'Naples of Japan', for its bay location (Aira Caldera), hot climate and impressive stratovolcano, Sakurajima.
As of 2003, the city had an estimated population of 554,136 and the density of 1,911.41 persons per km². The total area was 289.91 km². The reason the city's total area was nearly doubled between 2003 and 2005 is that five towns --- Kooriyama, Matsumoto, Kiire, Sakurajima, and Yoshida --- were merged into Kagoshima City on 1 November 2004.
Kagoshima is a well-equipped cosmopolitan city, with an international airport, a full complement of hotels, large shopping districts and malls, served by trams, and probably the finest Satsuma region cuisine: 'kibi' (tiny fishes), tonkatsu (caramelised pork, as opposed to the breaded version encountered elsewhere in Japan), finest smoked eel, and Karukan—sweet cakes made from steamed yam and rice flour. A large, modern aquarium has been installed on the old docks overlooking the volcano. The exceptional traditional Japanese garden of Senganen (Isoteien) is just outside the city.
The St. Xavier church is a reminder of the first Christian who came to Japan.
Kagoshima has four high rise buildings, with the Kagoshima Kyocera Hotel (60 meters) being the highest.
Kagoshima was bombarded by the British Royal Navy in 1863 to punish the Satsuma daimyo for the murder of Charles Richardson on the Tōkaidō highway the previous year, and the refusal to pay an indemnity in compensation. (See 'Bombardment of Kagoshima', Chapter VIII, A Diplomat in Japan by Sir Ernest Satow.) Japan's industrial revolution may be said to have started here, stimulated by the young students commemorated in a large statue outside the city's main train station. Seventeen young men of Satsuma broke the Tokugawa ban on foreign travel to travel and return to share the benefits of the best of Western science and technology.
Kagoshima was the birthplace of Togo Heihachiro, who travelled to England to study naval science between 1871 and 1878. Togo's role as Chief Admiral of the Grand Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War made him a legend in Japanese military history, and earned him the nickname 'Nelson of the Orient' in Britain. He led the Grand Fleet to two startling victories in 1904 and 1905, completely destroying Russia as a naval power in the East, and thereby contributing to the failed revolution in Russia in 1905.
- Official website in Japanese
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